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This is changing today due to new EU internet rules that are now in effect |  News

This is changing today due to new EU internet rules that are now in effect | News

The European Union has been trying for years to break the power of dominant technology companies. But even billions in fines do not deter giant American companies in the first place. That's why there are new rules for the Internet as of today. We summarize the most important changes for you.

What is that new law?

The Digital Markets Regulation will come into effect from March 7. This is known by its English name “Digital Markets Act” or “DMA”.

Thanks to these rules, the European Commission can appoint “gatekeepers”. These are companies that are so large that they have a great deal of control over the Internet, and therefore additional rules are imposed on them.

Currently, this is Google's parent company Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, TikTok's parent company ByteDance, Instagram's parent company Meta, and also Microsoft. A total of 22 of their services were determined to be important enough for additional rules.

Fortnite returns to iPhone

DMA introduces one of the most radical changes to the iPhone. Apple must now allow developers to launch their own App Store on iOS.

Until now, CEO Tim Cook's company had complete control over which apps could appear on the iPhone. This caused a conflict with Epic Games, the maker of the game “Fortnite.” Now that the game developer can launch its own store, it is theoretically possible to play the popular game on iPhone. However, Apple has locked down the Epic developer account, reports the game developer. As a result, the game developer cannot launch its own app store yet.

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Use Messenger without a Facebook account

Anyone who wants to chat via Messenger has been required to have a Facebook account for years now. This is not ideal, because not everyone wants such a profile. Parent company Meta now allows you to create an account on Messenger using any email address or mobile phone number.

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The downside to this is that you'll have to invite people to talk to you on Messenger. You can also upload your phone's contact list to the chat app.

Choose the browser on your Android smartphone

Google has been forced for some time to let you choose which search engine you want when setting up a new Android phone. You can also choose which web browser you want to use. Until now, Chrome was the default browser after activating your phone. Thanks to DMA, in addition to the search engine selection screen, you can now also have a browser selection screen.

Companies that are classified as “gatekeepers” and services that, according to the European Commission, deserve additional rules. © European Union

Unlink Instagram account from Facebook

Until now, Meta has combined data about your use on Instagram with data about what you do on Facebook. The ads were then personalized accordingly.

The EU no longer just allows gatekeepers to link services together. If your accounts are already linked, you can now easily change that via Account center From the company.

More competition between browsers on iPhone

Choosing Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox as the default browser for your iPhone has been possible for some time.

The EU requires Apple to ask you more clearly which device you want to use. After installing this week's iOS 17.4 update, you'll see a selection screen when you first open Safari. Anyone who has used a Windows computer in the past will recognize this situation.

Developers will finally have more control over the development of their browsers. So far, they have been asked to do so engine From using Apple. This part of the browser in the background determines how web pages load.

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Google and Mozilla can now make their apps different and perhaps better than Safari. Think faster loading times or the ability to install extensions. At present, these radical modifications have not yet been made.

European Commissioners Margrethe Vestager (left) and Thierry Breton (right) proposed the Digital Markets Act (and the related Digital Services Act) more than three years ago.
European Commissioners Margrethe Vestager (left) and Thierry Breton (right) proposed the Digital Markets Act (and the related Digital Services Act) more than three years ago. © Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

WhatsApp and Messenger can work with other chat apps

This is also something of the future at the moment, but it will likely be a big change. The European Commission requires that WhatsApp and Messenger be opened. This should allow them to collaborate with other chat apps.

Mita allows entry Technical blog post I know there is still some work to be done to actually put this into practice. For example, you must first increase the security of Messenger.

Additionally, it comes down to making good agreements with the companies behind competing chat apps. Meta suggests using the secure protocol for the Signal chat app. This is already used with WhatsApp and Messenger.

Choose your search engine in Chrome

When using Google Chrome, you'll now also see a screen asking which search engine you want to use.

The European Commission should do this to prevent Google from exploiting Chrome's dominance to boost its search engine position, and vice versa.

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